Sunday October 12, 2003 | Greg Boyd
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Letting go of our own desires, rights, conveniences, pleasure, wealth, and security is necessary if we are to serve a master other than ourselves. If we do choose Jesus, we must die to our own agendas so that in Christ, we can really live. Christianity is an all or nothing decision.
Last week Dwayne Polk delivered a powerful word from the Lord about our need to make a “critically significant decision.” That decision is basic to the Christian faith: “Will I decide to follow Jesus, regardless of what that means or costs me?” THAT is the heart of the Gospel, and that decision will mean that many other “decisions” are already settled for you if you choose Jesus. This is what Christ meant when he taught that no “one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). We also know that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (John 8:36; Gal. 5:1). How do these two claims relate to each other? Can we be both slaves of one master and yet free?
Consider the video clip Greg showed us. We see a person who is clearly grasping after two contrary things: on the one hand, she is hanging on for dear life (hanging onto “Indy’s” hand) but on the other, she is trying to grasp the Holy Grail sitting on a ledge below her. She might have been able to get the Grail if she let go of Indy’s hand and lunged wholeheartedly for it, but, of course, that would be to intentionally fall to her death. She might have been able to get out of the pit she was in if she gave Indy her other hand and desired only one thing, to live. But this would mean that she would have to put the Grail out of her mind and out of her reach. As it was, she refused to make the decision and lost both the Grail and her life. She could not serve both purposes, she could not attain both goals. She could not serve two masters. She needed to make a choice, and her inability to choose forced her to give up both things that she desired.
In Greg’s message, the Holy Grail represented our attempts to “get life” from our own desires, rights, conveniences, pleasure, wealth, security, and so forth. Letting go of these things is necessary if we are to serve just one master and that master is going to be someone other than ourselves. If we do in fact choose Jesus, we must die to our own agendas so that in Christ, we can really live and live life to the full. Christianity is an all or nothing decision. There is no making deals or bargain shopping. Remember the tension above? It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! And we are slaves to Christ! This is the only arrangement that solves our problem. If we are slaves to the one who makes us free, the we are free indeed! How are we free? We are free from the many traps and lies of this world that attempt to enslave us. This is the fundamental drive behind commercials, as Greg pointed out. We are told that we “need” something, so that we become slaves to that desire, and then we purchase the associated product and serve the corporation who sells it! The point was not to refuse to participate in the economy, but rather, be intentional about what goes on in your brain!!! Greg reminded us that commercials, like everything else in our environment, act as stimuli which trigger activities in our brain (subconscious “neuro-nets”), which cause us to experience certain feelings associated with those triggers, and finally we behave in a way that is predictable on the basis on those feelings. These patterns are often destructive and we are responsible for reprogramming our minds to correct the patterns that are not serving our master! When this happens, we are free from the “patterns of this world” and are slaves to Christ, and free indeed! This is life to the full. We are to take every thought captive and think on godly things so that we can truly begin to discipline our brains.